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Hand In Hand: Chocolate And Wine

a close up of a wine glass on a table

Love chocolate? Love wine? Why not both together?

If you’ve never thought of pairing chocolate and wine, you don’t quite know that magical taste sensation you are missing out on. But to get that sensation, you need to find the right balance – and that can be challenging.

Balancing is the secret to pairing wine and chocolate; there is plenty you need to consider – richness, lightness, full-flavour, bitterness, dryness and sweetness. Phew, even just considering that needs a good glass!

Keeping in mind these different flavour profiles, we’ve looked at some of the most ideal pairings to get you started.

Pair Dark Chocolate with Juicy Reds

Rich and robust in flavour, with 70%-100% cocoa, dark chocolate always pairs well with red wines due to complimenting intense flavours. Think about those words that describe dark chocolate:

  • Roasted
  • Fruity
  • Earthy
  • Woody
  • Ashy
  • Nutty

Often you’ll find similar words used to describe those bolder, denser full-bodied red wines. It is important not to drink too dry a wine as you’ll find these tend to have a more bitter finish and don’t pair too well with dark chocolate.

Generally, most people will recommend pairing dark chocolate with Shiraz, Syrah, and Zinfandel due to the sugar content. Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and even a Tawny Port also go well with a good quality dark chocolate.

a glass of wine sitting on top of a wooden table

Pair Milk Chocolate with Sweeter Wines

Many people tend to prefer a milk chocolate as it offers a more sweet and creamy treat rather than the bold dark chocolate. When pairing milk chocolate with wine, choose one that isn’t full of extra products – the more simpler milk chocolate you can buy, the better.

Due to the creamy sweetness, milk chocolate pairs well with a variety of wines. If you prefer reds, lighter and fruitier options pair well with milk chocolate including Pinot Noir, Merlot and Chianti. For those who prefer white wine, a Pinot Gris is a good option. If making a desert that includes milk chocolate, a demi-sec sparkling wine often pairs well.  For the non-wine drinkers, Tawny Port is again an option.

a glass of wine

Pair White Chocolate with Sweet Finishers

White chocolate is often seen as a challenge to pair with wines,  but this is where your light, aromatic and fruity wines come into their own. A sweeter Riesling, Moscato, Rosé or a semi-dry sparkling wine tends to go well with white chocolate. Flavours to look out for in the wine includes stonefruit and lychee. White chocolate also tends to pair well with a dry red like a Pinot Noir as the white chocolate compliments the berry flavours typically found in this variety.

a close up of a chocolate cake on a plate

There is almost nothing better than sitting down with a glass of your favourite wine and your favourite chocolate treat at the end of the week. Pair the right wine and you’ll find your taste buds go off on their own adventure.